Know the vector, know the threat!

MosquitoMap is a product of the Walter Reed Biosystematics Unit based in the Smithsonian Institution (see link for WRBU above). MosquitoMap (see graphic to the left) is a geospatially referenced clearinghouse for mosquito disease vector species collection records and distribution models within VectorMap (see link for VectorMap above). Users can pan and zoom to anywhere in the world to view the locations of past mosquito collections and the results of modeling that predicts the geographic extent of individual species. Collection records are searchable and downloadable, users can map and contribute their own georeferenced collection data or distribution models, and all contributions have full attribution.


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Currently, MosquitoMap has 346,258 collection records, for over 140 countries. MosquitoMap is designed to preserve and make available the results of past collecting and distribution modeling activity. The utility of MosquitoMap will increase as more records and models are added. Contributions are encouraged, especially from individuals and organizations with digitized, georeferenced records and those involved in ongoing mosquito surveillance. See a published description of MosquitoMap in the International Journal of Health Geographics.

  • MosquitoMap is useful for:
    • informing decisions about where mosquito collection efforts should be directed
    • identifying areas relevant to the study of mosquito biogeography, evolution and biodiversity
    • allow predictions about the potential spread of exotic mosquito introductions
    • allow predictions about the potential effects of global warming on mosquito distributions
    • allow insights into mosquito community structure, and environmental and climatic correlates to species occurrence (ecological niche)
    • allow continent-wide rather than just local studies of vector-borne disease
    • identifying cryptic evolutionary lineages that differ in geographic or ecological space.
The Mal-area calculator

A novel enhancement of VectorMap is the Mal-area calculator (MAC) that quantifies the overlap between vector and pathogen distribution models, and host (human) population. The co-occurrence of vectors, parasites and hosts are required for many vector-borne diseases, and the MAC quantifies this co-occurrence for a given area, thus potentially providing a map and simple index of disease risk for any area of interest. At the moment the MAC is at the 'proof of concept' stage, but we plan to roll out an operational version in the near future!


An associated application in preparation is VectorSurv, designed to host longitudinal survey data for arthropod vectors. Data from trap sites that are routinely monitored, often over many years, provides a valuable resource for assessing disease transmission risk, and for identifying the climatic and phenological factors responsible for temporal changes in abundance. VectorSurv is designed for online input and display of surveillance data.


Funding for MosquitoMap was provided by the US Department of Defense Global Emerging Infections Surveillance and Response System(DoD-GEIS), a Division of the Armed Forces Health Surveillance Center, and from the Global Biodiversity Information System (GBIF). Comments and questions should be directed to VectorMap.

Website updated on 10/26/2014 9:49 .
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